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COVID-19 Pandemic Causes NYC Restaurants and Bars to Have Difficulty Paying Rent in August

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Around 90% of NYC bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their rent last month. This, then, worsened the continued suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted on the city – especially it’s economy.

The nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance released a new study regarding establishments in the city. It shows that 87% of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and event spaces in the five boroughs couldn’t pay their full August rent. There is a 7 percentage-point increase from June and a 4-point jump from July.

“Restaurants, bars and nightlife venues have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

Vintage Bar Station Photo | COVID-19 Pandemic Causes NYC Restaurants and Bars to Have Difficulty Paying Rent in August

Rigie explained that even before the pandemic, “these small businesses were struggling to stay open.”

“Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent.”

More than this, the hospitality industry is vital to New York’s economic and social fabric. “And to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of outdoor dining, a roadmap for expanded indoor dining, covered business interruption insurance and immediate passage of the Restaurants Act by Congress,” he added.

Businesses were asked if landlords were waiving rent due to COVID-19 hardships, and only 40% said “yes.”

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